It’s that time of year again! Time to get dressed up in crazy outfits and comb the city looking for all sorts of random objects. If you’re familiar with the city, that’s great for your team. If you are looking to learn about the city, and want to meet people and have a fun time doing it, that’s good too. This is a race. This is a contest. This can be as crazy as you want it to be, or you can go at your own pace and enjoy the day as it presents itself. I was curious about how the hunt had progressed over the years, so I asked organizer Charlie Riley to update BRO readers regarding what to expect from this year’s event (August 14th). From Charlie:
“Since we have started this three years ago, we have learned a lot as we plan this crazy event. We put in a ton of effort researching items and listening to feedback to make the Hunt better each year, and we think we nailed it this time around. We’ve added more teams, judges and prizes, and really get people to think.
“We take participant’s feedback very seriously, and have used some recommendations in the planning. Last year, we shortened the time searching from six to five hours, and it seemed to be the perfect amount of time, so we’re sticking with that this year. The list size will always be exceed the amount of items or photos people can get, but that’s part of the fun. We don’t want a team to finish the list and sit around for an hour, plus we do a lot of research to make the list as strategic as possible. We make sure a team can acquire enough points to win downtown, in Allentown or if they went into the Elmwood Village.
“We try to incorporate more Buffalo trivia into the list, and get people to see Buffalo in a new light. Some of the best feedback we receive is from participants who say they have never seen parts of Buffalo before being a part of the Hunt. We see photos of teams interacting with store owners, asking strangers to help them complete a photo or item; that’s what this is all about. We started this to show people who might not be familiar with the city that there is plenty to do here – sometimes you just have to make your own adventure. Last year, we added doing a cannonball into the BAC Downtown pool, and teams we’re lining up for it, they loved it. Things like that, or getting a team photo with an entire wedding party was a hit the year before.
“We can’t get over how serious people take this event, which pushes us to make it better each year, but we really think each team had a blast regardless of how much they wanted to win. The nice part is every single person left with something, from a reusable bag to hats donated by New Era, to the prizes we gave out to the top teams. Last year, we gave the winning foursome each HD Flip camcorders, but the top five or so teams I’d say walked away with prizes valued at well more than the entry fee.
“We survey entrants each year because they are ultimately why we do this, that and supporting Camp Good Days. So the feedback is extremely valuable, and one thing people said was to reduce the points for extreme items, like in years past getting a tattoo on their foot, for example. So while it might have made the explanation of the Hunt to someone who had never heard of it more shocking and even though you could still win without doing extreme items, we are adjusting the points this year based on that feedback. So more tasks like finding the 2006 Thursday at the Square schedule or drinking a Spot Coffee in Starbucks make the cut.
“Darcy McGee’s was great to us last year, and offers a central location and plenty of space for judging and the after party, so we’re thrilled to have the Hunt operate from there. Cozumel has one of the best patios in Buffalo, but we outgrew the space and we just managed to avoid the rain the first year, so we loved being there, but Darcy’s should hopefully be our location for awhile.
“We’re hoping to double the amount of participants this year, around 300, and the range of entrants has been awesome. We get people from the city, suburbs, and even out of town friends who look forward to this, and they are between 21 and 59 years old.”
Teams can find out all about the Hunt at www.buffaloscavengerhunt.com, and we’ll offer BRO readers $5 off per person if they use the promo code “BRO” before 7/26/10.